Hospital finances continue to improve

Compared to the last 10 months of the fiscal year ending July 31, 2008, the Bamberg County Hospital has seen an approximately $2.9 million positive turn around in its finances, Interim CFO Carl Menist informed board members at their August meeting.

Menist attributes the turnaround of the facilities finances in part to management of staffing, employee benefits cost savings and overall expenditure savings of $2.7 million. Year-to-date the hospital shows a profit of $538.000.

The combined facilities (hospital and nursing center) recorded a “just above breakeven” profit for the month of July of $26,000. The combined census for the first 10 months for both facilities was 96.75. The amount of surgeries performed at the hospital was up three percent from 287 operations performed in June to 295 in July with the hospital performing 1,047 radiological procedures during that time.

Henry Stovall of PHNS, President of Stovall Management Services, said, “The $2.8 million up-swing from a year ago didn’t happen because of management or the board. It happened because a whole bunch of people dug in and said, we’re not going to let the hospital close. When you look at ending the year $3 million dollars better than you were a year before, it deserves a high five or some sort of celebration.”

Bamberg County Hospital Board Chairman Lou Ann Carter said that it’s been a while since the board heard such good news. “I’m not sure when we had so much positive energy that Henry’s (Stovall) has given us. It’s just great we made such a turnaround in the last year. Spread the word to the community, things are on track, it’s not that we’re surviving, we’re beginning to thrive.”

Also during the meeting:

In the finance committee report committee Chairman Al Palmer requested that the board approved the purchase of an air conditioning unit for the Radiological area for $9,503. The board also approved the acceptance of two more bids for cleaning equipment not to exceed $19,250. With these last two expenditures the board exceeded its capital expenditure budget of $100,000 by approximately $5,000. “I don’t think there is anything on the list that we couldn’t have gotten by doing,” Palmer said.

Interim CEO Roy Vinson reported that the hospital was able to get a third extension of its Certificate of Need (CON) which is good for six months. Vinson noted that it is rare to get more than two extensions. The interim CEO noted that on August 2 the nursing center was sold and that on September 17 at midnight a portable generator will be brought in and the utilities will be switched from combined to separate utilities. Vinson reported that the Center for Medicaid- Medicare Services (CMS) Survey K-Tags for the physical plant passed with flying colors. The facility is now waiting for the survey on the clinical side which improvements continue to be made from a year ago.